It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category Jason Dias

Photo by Don Scarborough.
Sometimes, I want to shout at my son. I mean, I don't want to, but I experience a powerful urge to. But he's nine, and shouting at him wouldn't be helpful. It would damage the relationship and teach bullying. When this urge arises, sometimes, I take a page out of Carl Whitaker's book: I pretend to shout, mocking the angry man,...
In the modern age, it is hard to move paper without ample doses of sex and violence. This is a world in which 50 Shades of Grey is a best-selling series—bad writing by most accounts but sufficiently titillating without being too frightening. In A Dance of Dragons, George R. R. Martin has one of his characters say it might not be possible for...
Rollo May asks this question: what is freedom? Freedom and Destiny is the answer at length, more like a dozen answers. It boils down to two things: what do you mean by freedom? And that which both opposes and enables destiny, its synonym and opposite. Lately, I have given up atheism as an identifier. It is not that I have turned towards belief,...
I am not an activist. No, I am not and you can't make me one. I am a pacifist of the worst order, the kind who confuses peacefulness with inaction. I prefer inaction. If humankind is going to ride the rails it is building straight into the maw of hell, I prefer to let it; we have to learn from our mistakes, and I am busy trying (and failing)...
I'll be 41 here in a minute, and around these times we mark out as indications of aging, I like to spend a few minutes reflecting. What does it all mean? This year, I've decided to think about the upsides of aging. Sure, there are downsides, but we can't have everything. The occasional focus on what is good won't kill us. Sex comes...
The problem with saying yes to one thing is you are thereby saying no to everything else. Yalom makes this point at least 63 times in his writing. I made that number up because I am too lazy, really, to track down any or all of the times he said it. So, I picked a number. Sixty-three is a good number, big enough to be implausible so you know I...
Illustration by David Vignoni.
In Prelude to Foundation (Asimov, 1988) Hari Seldon invents the science of psychohistory that forms the basis of the Foundation series. This series presumes that human behavior is predictable by science, and that those predictions can be used to influence future history for the betterment of humankind. The Foundation series itself was started in...
She came to the coffee store and wanted tea. It was a little odd, but she was a little odd, somewhere between crazy and eccentric. Her name, as you might have guessed from the title, was Sylvia. Jason's fourth law is the older you get, the younger everybody else looks; the corollary is that as I was young, I can't trust any assessments of...
Human cognition is increasingly recognized as not that special among our animal cousins. Numerous demonstrations of other mammals and even birds capable of tool use, of language use, of empathy, and of a sense of fairness permeate the literature. Anyone who spends any time at all with their household pets must wonder at times what is going through...
Illustration from Punch Magazine ca. 1870.
The career market used to be open a little wider. Greed and politics are narrowing our options. As I struggle to find means to support my family and pay my student loans, people often reassure me that I am worth hiring and will eventually find the place where I belong. These days, I don’t know that there is such a place. Twenty years ago, I...
Jacob Matham's (ca. 1587) engraving "Pride."
One of my least favorite parts of therapist training was a deep investigation in who I am. What motivates me, what are my weaknesses and blind spots and vulnerabilities. There isn’t room enough in a blog like this to begin to list these weaknesses, and I am certain others will tell you if you ask them in private. That said, one of the...
Photo by Joe Ravi.
I spent this morning shampooing the carpets after the dog micturated in the hallway. He's a good dog. He didn't want to pee on the rug. It's just that Americans insist on asserting their freedoms even when the law disagrees and even when others experience negative consequences of those freedoms. The freedom in question is fireworks....